Skip to comments.Iraq Is Running Out of Hind Gunships
Posted on 06/22/2014 9:25:57 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
ISIS has shot up dozens of helicopters, so Baghdad is going shopping
In the span of a few short years, Iraq went from having a nonexistent air force to having one just barely getting on its feet.
Now Baghdads shaky flying corps is getting into real trouble as it tries to contain a worsening civil war. Iraqs front-line helicopter gunships are taking so much punishment, the government is growing desperate for replacements.
On June 20, the Czech defense ministry revealed that Iraq approached Prague with an offer to buy up to seven Mi-35M Hind gunshipsthe export version of the famed Mi-24 Hindfor a total of $12 million. They have shown interest in the helicopters, Martin Stropnicky, the Czech defense minister, told the Dnes newspaper.
The main culprit for Iraqs helicopter woes is the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham. ISIS forces shot down at least six helicopters between January and May, according to The New York Times. The terror groups attrition warfare has continued into June as ISIS shot down another helicopter near Fallujah last week.
But the Times report noted a more startling fact. Militants shot up around 60 helicoptersdamaging but not destroying themover the same period. ISIS appears to have largely used heavy anti-aircraft machine guns to do most of the damage.
Thats a huge number of destroyed or damaged helicoptersincluding Iraqs growing fleet of Hind gunships. This represents a significant proportion of the Iraqi Army Aviation Commands assets, observed Jeremy Bennie of IHS Janes Defense Weekly.
More MANPADS, more problems Its difficult to determine the exact size of Iraqs helicopter fleet. But estimates compiled by Janes and the Center for Strategic and International Studies puts the number at more than 100 helicopters of various types, including Bell-407 scouts, Eurocopter EC-635 training birds, dual light attack and transport Mi-17 helicopters, among others.
The United States has also sold 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq, but these are still awaiting delivery after Congress delayed approval until earlier this month.
Iraqs main current attack helicopter force includeson paperaround 30 Mi-28NE Havoc and 40 Mi-35M Hinds purchased from Russia. But its unclear how many of each kind Iraq received to date. What we do know is that both the Havoc and Hind are in action over Iraq.
In one recent video circulating online, Iraqi Hinds attack and destroy ISIS technical fighting vehicles with rockets, guided missiles and cannon fire. An orbiting surveillance plane zooms its cameras toward the burning vehicles, which were caught out in the open and destroyed by the swooping armored tanks, as the Hind is popularly known.
But the big question remains whether ISIS has shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missilesotherwise known as MANPADSof which helicopters are extremely vulnerable. Theres good reason to believe the militants do. ISIS militants filmed themselves firing SA-7 MANPADS in a propaganda video released this month.
ISIS could have acquired these missiles on the black market or by capturing them from the Syrian government. There, the missiles are used with deadly effect against Bashar Al Assads helicopter forces. Or ISIS could have acquired the missiles from sympathetic Arab state allies. But how many missiles are circulating around Iraq is a different and much more difficult question.
Either way, the possibility alone is enough to make officials in Washington sweat bullets.
If Pres. Barack Obama orders air strikes to assist the beleaguered Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al Malikiwho has requested U.S. strikesthe presence of MANPADS means American pilots could conceivably be shot down, captured and executed. And thats a full-blown political nightmare.
But Maliki is already living through his worst nightmare. Massive losses to his air force gives the prime minister all the more reason to want American fighter-bombers flying overhead.
With no regard to one side or the other of the conflict, I have to say the Hind is a worthy kite, and in the right hands arms an admirable foe.
I wonder if Obama is arming both sides?
I have no doubt he is sewing our demise and duplicity all around.
My only interest in this thread is the wonderful aerospace engineering of the soviets when it comes to helicopters.
We Build good stuff too bet lets face it, it was Russian engineers that really perfected it in the first place.
The Hind is a stealthy BEAST
Doubtless the rotary wing aircraft are being shot down by the SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles sequestered from Ghadaffi’s arsenals and shipped to Syrian jihadists by Chris Stevens of Benghazi fame.
armored tanks,? We always called them flying tanks.
Ghaddafi turned over all his **** to us when we went into Iraq.
He said “I dont want no trouble”
Anyhow my only interest in this thread is the Hind Helicopter with I think is a stealthy warhorse.
but the export versions are probably not as capable
They are way quieter than or BlackHawks.
Ask me how I know.... I had one rise up on me over a mountaintop and never heard it chopping in.
Thats the arms trade for ya.
If you got decent pilots, decent supply lines and a good air crew, these things are meaner than cat shit.
Paul: US has been arming ISIS in Syria
Well ya gotta give Ivan his due respect.
I chased Ivan all around this word, and own half his shit now, but I never underestimated him.
I was watching some show about the space race on France Channel 5.
They were showing the whole sputnik thing in a way you would never see on American TV, And truth is we all know USSR beat us to the punch.
Did we dominate them later?
But you have ta admire Ivan.
Never underestimate him.
I should say the same of our Arab and Chinese adversaries.
Though they are not innovators.
One of the old jokes on the subs was we were chasing “Ivan Attitude”